Summertime is the perfect time for kids and parents alike to enjoy a dip in the pool. Don’t let a relaxing day poolside turn into an emergency for your family. By sticking to some simple water safety rules, you can all enjoy swimming without a trip to the hospital interrupting your fun. Keep these rules in mind the next time your family decides to go swimming.
Teach kids how to swim
Swimming lessons are one of the best safety tools you can give to your child. When your child knows how to swim, you can drastically reduce the risk of an accidental injury or drowning, even if your child inadvertently falls into the water or enters deeper water than he or she expected.
Although your child may not have the gross motor skills and coordination to truly begin swimming until they are three or four, you can take swimming classes with your baby when they are as young as four months. Babies may not actually learn how to swim, but can get comfortable in the water during these classes.
Never let kids swim alone
No matter how much your child swims like a fish, kids should never be left alone to swim without an adult present. If you have a home pool, make sure your kids know that it is off-limits unless they are with you or another adult.
If you are swimming with a group of kids and adults, make sure the adults take turns being actively responsible for supervising the kids. It’s easy for adults to all assume someone else is watching the kids, when in reality, no one is.
Make drains off-limits
Pool drains can pose a danger to kids, so make sure your little ones know to swim away when they see one. If you swim in a public pool, make sure the drains have safety covers. Your home pool should have them as well.
At Sunrise Children’s Hospital, our pediatrics team and children’s emergency care department is here all year long to make sure your little ones stay healthy during every season. Learn more about our children’s hospital in Las Vegas by calling (702) 233-5437.
Burns during childhood can dramatically increase your child’s risk of developing skin cancer as an adult. For this reason, it is never too early to take steps to reduce your child’s sun exposure to cut his or her cancer risk . Here are some ways you can keep your child safe from the dangers of excessive sun exposure.
Stay out of peak sunshine
Playing outside is healthy for kids, but doing so when the sun is at its strongest could lead to burns. Typically, the sun’s UV rays are most intense between the hours of 10 AM and 3 PM, so consider doing indoor activities during those hours.
If you are outside with your child during these periods of peak sun exposure, try to avoid being in direct sunlight. Stay under the shade of a tree or umbrella to reduce the amount of sun your child receives.
Commit to sunscreen
The whole family can benefit from wearing sunscreen whenever they are going to be outdoors. For your child, choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Your pediatrician can recommend kid-friendly brands that are good for young skin that may be sensitive.
Sunscreen should be applied about 30 minutes before your kids go outside. Use it liberally, and don’t forget the ears, tops of feet and lips.
Dress for the part
How you dress your child for the sun makes a big difference in exposure. Although hot temperatures can mean short sleeves and shorts, wearing tight-knit fabrics with long sleeves and pants offers the most protection. Dark colors can also reduce sun exposure.
Choose a hat for your child with a wide brim that protects his or her face, ears and neck. Your little one should also wear sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays.
Your Sunrise Children’s Hospital pediatrics specialist in Las Vegas can help you make healthy choices for your child and offer preventive care as an investment in your child’s lifelong good health. You can get a referral 24 hours a day by calling (702) 233-5437.
Help your child avoid ACL injuries
Staying active is great for your child’s health, but it also increases the risk of injuries, including ACL injuries. May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is a good time to refocus on sports safety and to determine if you’re doing everything you can to help your child avoid a trip to the emergency room . Commit to helping your child avoid ACL injuries that could leave him or her sidelined all season long with this advice.
Make warm-ups a must
Warm-ups play an integral role in avoiding all types of sports injuries. Ensure that your child does sufficient warm-up activities to stretch the ACL before any kind of physical activity. Stretches that help to reduce ACL injuries include:
- Calf stretches
- Quadriceps stretches
- Hamstring stretches
- Inner thigh stretches
Ask your child’s coach if you need tips for performing these stretches properly. Doing these stretches as part of a warm-up will also help to reduce post activity soreness. Stretches should be combined with an aerobic warm-up to loosen up all the muscles and get the body ready to be active.
Focus on overall fitness
When your child is committed to a certain sport, such as soccer, it is natural to assume that all of the games and practices will keep your child in top condition. However, doing other kinds of activities can help to reduce the risk of injuries because it gives you the opportunity to work different muscles.
To prevent ACL injuries, strengthening exercises can be helpful. Squats and lunges can be particularly helpful in strengthening the ACL so it is less prone to injury.
Practice proper technique
Performing activities incorrectly can leave your child at risk of an ACL injury. Encourage him or her to work closely with the coach on developing the right form, and ensure that he or she practices at home so that the proper technique becomes second nature.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, an injury happens. When your child is hurt, seek emergency care from Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas. Our referral line is open 24 hours a day to answer your questions about our children’s hospital or for a referral to a pediatrics specialist. Simply call (702) 233-5437 for more information.
For parents, knowing when to take a baby to the ER can be difficult. As a general guideline, seek out children’s emergency care any time you feel concerned about your baby’s symptoms. It is better to find out that your baby’s symptoms aren’t being caused by a medical emergency than to wait and see what happens, only to find out that your child needs urgent care. If you are weighing your options, here are some of the circumstances in which you should take your baby to the ER right away.
Fevers are scary for parents, and while older kids can often be treated with home care when they have a fever, babies should generally be seen by a pediatrician. If your baby has a rectal temperature higher than 100.4 F when he or she is two months of age or younger, go to the ER for treatment.
In older babies, you can usually wait to see a pediatrician, unless your baby has other symptoms, such as excessive crying or lethargy.
Newborns should get ER treatment whenever they vomit. In older babies, green vomit indicates a need for emergency care. As the video explains, projectile vomiting can suggest a structural problem in the stomach that could require emergency care.
Other episodes of vomiting can be judged on a case-by-case basis. The real danger of vomiting is dehydration, so look for warning signs like dry diapers and crying without tears, and get emergency care if you suspect your baby needs fluids.
People of all ages should get emergency care when they have breathing problems, and babies are no different. If your baby is wheezing, is having visible chest retractions or has skin that is blue-tinged, go to the ER for a diagnosis. Your baby may also need emergency care if he or she makes a high-pitched noise when breathing.
The compassionate children’s emergency care team in Las Vegas at Sunrise Children’s Hospital provides fast, conscientious care designed with kids in mind. Don’t play guessing games with your baby’s health. Visit our ER for immediate care or call (702) 233-5437 for a pediatrician referral.